PRIDE legend Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipovic is set to rematch Roy Nelson at this Saturday’s (Feb. 16, 2019) Bellator 216 from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
The knockout striker was originally scheduled to fight ‘Big Country’ last year, but a knee injury knocked him out at the last minute. Somehow he recovered amazingly quickly for a 44-year-old competitor to finish Roque Martinez at September’s RIZIN 13. The rapid recovery lead to a minor uproar from Cro Cop’s steroid critics online.
That talk was only furthered when a photograph surfaced of Cro Cop this week looking especially jacked and shredded. Immediately, many jumped to accuse Filopovic of using performance enhancers. But in an interview with MMA Fighting (quotes via MMA Mania), Cro Cop attributed his rapid recovery to something else. It’s his daily commitment to recovery, he claims, and he fought Martinez before he was healed:
“You know how people are, so many stupid comments. This, that … I’m a very dedicated man. I spent five, six hours rehabilitation process every day. I managed to recover. After six, seven weeks I start to jog again. I had a fight also.
Nelson Isn’t Buying
Nelson addressed the situation himself, adding that Cro Cop had almost magical recovery powers. He suggested his doctors should come work for the National Football League (NFL):
“When he pulled out of my fight, he had a fight, he had knee surgery, he had rehab, and he was able to come back in three or four months. I think his docs need to come over here for the NFL and some of these guys that get messed-up knees, they could be back in a week.”
His words didn’t affect Cro Cop, however, who knew Nelson has to hype their fight somewhat:
“There is no relationship, we are not friends, but there is no bad blood. We are just fighters. He needs to say something, he needs to attract attention. I understand it. I don’t think Roy Nelson is a bad person. Just business.”
Cro Cop and Nelson first fought in the UFC in 2011. “Big Country” won the fight via TKO.